3i builds Cambridge track record selling UbiNetics stake to CSR

28 Jul 2005

3i, Europe's leading venture capitalist, is selling its stake in UbiNetics to Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR), the international short-range wireless company, which 3i backed in 1999 and helped float on the London Stock Exchange in April 2004.

The deal, at $48m, along with the sale of the UbiNetics' test and measurement business to Aeroflex in May 2005, delivers an 80% IRR for 3i in less than 18 months.  This is the fourth successful exit for 3i in the last 12 months locally, showing 3i as clear leader in the Cambridge market.  As the founding venture capital investor in both businesses, 3i made the initial introductions which led to CSR's acquisition of the UbiNetics business.

"The sale of UbiNetics to CSR marks a new trend in VC investing. To be successful in venturing one must really understand the shape of the technology markets you are investing in.  3i's knowledge of CSR and its roadmap made us realise that the UbiNetics handset business would be a fantastic fit for CSR, making the deal a real win-win situation.  We remain a substantial investor in CSR and have genuine belief in what the management team are creating.  It feels great to be helping to shape the Cambridge landscape." said Laurence Garrett, partner, venture capital, 3i.

This successful purchase of a VC-backed start-up by another major VC-backed public firm demonstrates the value 3i can bring via its network of contacts and the success of 3i's mobility sector theme-based investing approach. 

The deal also builds on 3i's strong track record in Cambridge, a global technology centre of excellence, through its investments in: Datanomic, Cachelogic, Domantis, Metalysis and others as well as successful exits: UbiNetics, Arakis, Trigenix and historically CSR.   3i's total investment in the region currently stands at over £75m. 

Notes to editors

About 3i
3i is a world leader in private equity and venture capital. We focus on Buyouts, Growth Capital and Venture Capital and invest across Europe, in the United States and in Asia Pacific. Our competitive advantage comes from our international network and the strength and breadth of our relationships in business. These underpin the value that we deliver to our portfolio and to our shareholders.

In the year to March 31, 2005, 3i invested £962m, including co-investment funds.  3i's Buyouts business operates primarily on a pan European basis, investing in businesses with a transaction value of up to €1 billion.  In the year to March 31, 2005, Buyouts invested £532m.  During the same period, its Growth Capital business, which focuses on high growth companies expanding organically or through acquisition, invested £274m across Europe and Asia.  3i's Venture Capital business invested £144m in the year to March 31, 2005.  The venture capital business invests in early stage technology companies throughout Europe and US.  
Some of 3i's award-winning early stage portfolio include Vonage, US (VOIP), Udex US (RFID), The Cloud, UK (wireless), Microsulis, Scotland (medtech), Mobile 365, France (comms), Smart Fuel Cells, Germany (energy), Fractus, Spain (antennas), Sulake Finland (gaming) with successful IPO realisations through Cambridge Silicon Radio (CSR), e2v, Bookham Technology, Novuspharma (Italy) and many others.  See www.3i.com

About UbiNetics 
UbiNetics is a world leader in the supply of innovative 3G, 2.5G and 2G IP solutions for chipset and terminal manufacturers, and 3G Test and Measurement Equipment. The company's WCDMA Test Mobiles, in use by 3G Infrastructure Manufacturers and Network Operators worldwide, have positioned UbiNetics at the centre of WCDMA interoperability testing.  New products, such as the LG200 Load Generator and the TM500 Test Mobile, now being supplied for early HSDPA trials, are further strengthening this position. UbiNetics also provides 2G, 2.5G, 3G and HSDPA protocol software and physical layer IP for use by chipset and handset developers and manufacturers. The company supplies a wide range of creative products for UMTS and GPRS/GSM applications, including customized embedded modules and development tools.  Since the company was formed in 1999, UbiNetics has grown to over 400 employees with activities in the UK, Japan, India and China.  Further information about UbiNetics can be found atwww.ubinetics.com

About CSR
CSR plc is the leading global provider of Bluetooth technology and has developed expertise in other single-chip wireless communication standards such as Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11). CSR offers developed hardware/software solutions for Bluetooth based around BlueCore, a fully integrated 2.4 GHz radio, baseband and microcontroller. CSR is now producing its fourth generation BlueCore devices. BlueCore4 supports the Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) standard which was ratified at the end of 2004. BlueCore4 remains the only EDR silicon to be shipping in volume today. In November 2004 CSR launched UniFi, the first single chip 802.11a/b/g embedded solution specifically targeting the mobile phone and consumer electronics markets.  BlueCore features in over 47 per cent of all Bluetooth devices shipped and over 60 per cent of all qualified Bluetooth enabled products and modules listed on the Bluetooth website with industry leaders including Nokia, Dell, Panasonic, Sharp, Motorola, IBM, Apple, NEC, Toshiba, RIM and Sony using BlueCore devices in their range of Bluetooth products. In March 2005, CSR acquired Clarity Technologies Inc., for its Clear Voice Capture (CVC) technology that enhances the audio performance of any voice-based product or system. Applications for CVC include wireless headsets, handsets and automotive hands free systems.  CSR has its headquarters in Cambridge, UK, and offices in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Denmark, Sweden and both Texas and Detroit in the USA. More information can be found at www.csr.com